Fox Theatre

119 S. Tower Avenue,
Centralia, WA 98531

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Showing 26 - 41 of 41 comments

KenLayton on August 25, 2007 at 12:30 pm

It looks like all that’s being done there now is simply painting the marquee. It’s been two years now and there’s still no electrical work been done to the marquee nor has the neon or light fixtures been put back. Over a year ago the entire bottom fell out of the marquee on the sidewalk. That part has not been fixed either.

It’s been almost two years since the last movies were shown here.

KenLayton on October 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Yes there is (rather was) a Liberty Theatre in Centralia. It was located about 4 blocks north of the Fox Theater and was also located on Tower Ave. (also on the same side of the street as the Fox. The Liberty was a huge theater. Either the same seating capacity as the Fox or just a tad bit larger. The Liberty closed in the mid 1950’s, sat vacant for a few years, then was converted into a church. That’s what it is now, a church. For years the Liberty’s projecting sign over the sidewalk was still there except that the church had removed the “Liberty Theater” neon and substituted “church” in neon on the sign. About two or three years ago, the church finally took that sign down totally. The name of the church is merely painted on the building now.

Perhaps the reason that these two theaters get confused is that Fox operated both theaters. I think I submitted photos to Cinematour of the Liberty a while back.

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2006 at 6:49 pm

I wasn’t sure. They called it the Fox Liberty, but of course Fox could have had multiple theaters in the city. The Fox is the only Centralia theater listed on CT at present. Thanks for the info.

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Also known as Fox Liberty (?) per this 1931 newspaper article:

The re-opening of the Liberty theatre here Friday evening opens a
new era in entertainment for Centralia. The management of the
Twin City Theatres, of which the Liberty is a part, are opening the
Liberty to give Lewis county theatre patrons a family theatre with
real popular low price of twenty five cents. It is also the aim of the Liberty to play up-to-date first run pictures of high class. The Liberty will have three changes of program a week.
“Fifty Fathoms Deep”, a thrilling action picture with Jack Holl will be the opening attraction and will run Friday and Saturday.
Sept. 11 and 12, with a special matinee Saturday afternoon. “Fifty
Fathoms Deep” is a Northwest premiere showing at the Liberty
“Fifty Million Frenchmen” is the comedy attraction Sunday
and Monday. That inimitable team of clowns, Olsen and Johnson, are
the bright spots of “Fifty Million Frenchmen” and it has a world
wide reputation as being 1931’s greatest laugh picture.

KenLayton on November 29, 2005 at 3:47 pm

Yes the theater has opened. They just did an opera last weekend. Movies are scheduled to run on these dates: Dec 17-18, and Dec. 23-24, 2005.

kateymac01 on November 29, 2005 at 2:57 pm

Has the theater opened?

KenLayton on September 21, 2005 at 7:46 am

“American General Luxury Cinemas” is the wrong name entirely for the theater company that split the theater up in 1982. It was Tom Moyer’s “General American Theaters” (a.k.a. “Luxury Theatres”) from Portland, Oregon that operated the theater and did the work. They were bought out in 1990 by Act 3 Theaters and in 1998, Act 3 was bought by Regal Cinemas.

KenLayton on September 13, 2005 at 8:12 am

More work has been done on the marquee. Half of the wall that split the auditorium into a multiplex is now gone! Looks like more work is going on to make this a great theater once again!

KenLayton on September 6, 2005 at 7:49 am

Theater is now equipped for 16mm movies. These 16mm projectors are fully operational and ready to run.

KenLayton on June 13, 2005 at 7:24 am

Theater is now open occasionally for classic movies. Check out their website at

teecee on May 17, 2005 at 8:54 am

Lots of photos & history:
View link

KenLayton on November 19, 2004 at 10:50 am

The non-profit group, Opera Pacifica ( has purchased the Fox Theater from the City of Centralia and is now restoring this beatiful theater. They are restoring the marquee right now and doing a great job! Major new sheet metal work, drainage, and painting have been done now. Soon the new electric wiring and new sections of neon will be installed. They’ve even been able to locate the original exterior poster cases and are in the process of restoring those, too. Thank you, Opera Pacifica. Two thumbs way up!

KenLayton on March 24, 2004 at 12:02 pm

As of 3/24/04 the marquee is in terrible condition with major rusted out sections and tons of broken neeon tubing. Looks like it’s ready to fall off the building.

Deatwell on November 25, 2002 at 12:58 pm

(Following submitted by Dave Eatwell, Economic Development Coordinator for City of Centralia) The City of Centralia, current owner of the Fox Theater on Tower Avenue, has offered the art deco anchor of the downtown for sale. The landmark has been a fixture in downtown Centralia since it opened in September of 1930.

In 1982, American General Luxury Cinemas converted building to a triple-screen facility by bisecting the balcony to form two 250-seat screening rooms and retaining the 500-seat main auditorium. The last movie was shown in 1998.

The design of the building reflects the economic atmosphere of the time of construction, somewhat austere and simple in ornamentation, yet elegant. The exterior brick of varied colors still presents angular geometric forms, accented by vertical lines. The exterior south wall is the base for one of the dozen historic murals found throughout Centralia. The high west wall of the fly space still shows the motto? The Last Word in Talking Picture Entertainment!?

Inside, the proscenium, which remains in its original form, features carving and gold-leaf overlay. Though a bit shallow for elaborate dramatic productions, the stage still has all the hardware and fly space rigging needed for live performance. Chandeliers hanging from the 35-foot high ceiling are a star-burst design with brightly colored flairs radiating from the center.

Dominating the center of the orchestra pit in front of the 24-ft. high, 30-ft. wide screen was a Balcom & Vaughan 2/10 pipe organ. Though currently dismantled and now including some parts from the Grand Theater?s Robert-Morton 2/5 and the Hoquiam Liberty Theater?s Wurlitzer 2/4, the organ awaits installation.

Technical Data on the Fox Theater Year built:1930 Original Builder:W.T. Butler Company, Seattle Original Operator:20TH Century Fox Cost of Construction:$200,000 Footprint:8040 sq.ft. Commercial space:500 sq.ft. Original Capacity:1,250 seats Current Capacity: Main auditorium: 700 seats Ceiling height:35 ft. Upper auditoriums(2): 240 seats each Performance Facilities: Main Screen:24?H x 30?W Stage:45? W x 18?D Orchestra pit:45? W Fly space: 65? H Pipe organ:Balcom & Vaughan 2/10

Mechanical Systems Heat:Gas fired furnace Electrical: 600 amps

KenLayton on September 26, 2001 at 1:14 pm

Theater is located at 119 South Tower Ave. (the one way street heading north) in downtown Centralia.

Theater opened on Sept. 5, 1930.

It was a single screen and access to the projection booth was by ladder! In 1982, Tom Moyer Luxury Theaters chopped up the theater into a triplex by walling off the balcony and making two small auditoriums.